As you probably guessed, the stylus does just fine when you want to scribble or doodle something quick on this 6.4-inch screen. When you pull the pen out of its hidey-hole, a small menu pops up that offers access to an instant note-taking app, and Motorola highlighted a few additional uses for the pen, like using it to select parts of a photo you’d like to animate as a cinemagraph. Beyond that, though, the stylus experience here is as basic as it gets.
That might be most apparent when you’re deep in a frenzied note-taking session. The phone’s total lack of palm rejection means it’s a little too easy to accidentally register a touch input when your hand rests one the screen. Once that happens, the stylus won’t seem to work at all. The fix is easy enough — just move your hand a little — but that’s easier said than done for some people. (I, for one, spend a lot of time cursing my meaty palms.)
In fairness to Motorola, the stylus is clearly optional, and it just might be worth investing in this $299 model over the Moto G Power because of a few component tweaks anyway. It’ll ship with 128GB of internal storage, double what the G Power comes with. Its camera is considerably more flexible, too: You’ll spend most of your time with a 48MP main sensor that, thanks to some pixel binning, produces perfectly passable 12-megapixel photos. We didn’t get too much time to pixel peep, but I’ve certainly seen worse photos from $299 phones, and I’d definitely take this main camera over the G Power’s.